Saturday, June 24, 2017

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How to Safely Watch the Solar Eclipse

We have a solar eclipse coming up, and I am super, super excited about it!! I also happen to have a favorite way to safely watch a solar eclipse, so I thought I'd share that with you today!

Sun Fun Facts: The picture above is of the sun taken and edited by NASA. It takes about 8 minutes for sunlight to reach the Earth, and over a million Earth's can fit inside the sun!!

This year's solar eclipse will pass across the United States on August 21st. The closest the total eclipse will come to my home will be Nashville, Tennessese at about 1:30 in the afternoon...that will be a 12 hour drive for us! However, you will be able to see a partial solar eclipse from everywhere in the United States (weather cooperating, of course!). The next time a total solar eclipse will be in the United States will be in the year 2024!

You can click here to see paths of see a complete total solar eclipse, you need to be inside the grey path.

You should never look directly at the sun, especially during a partial solar eclipse. Galileo probably went blind from studying the sun, and we don't want anyone to get any eye damage!

If you are in the path of totality (or an area where you have a complete total eclipse), you can actually look right at the sun when it is completely blocked. And it is supposed to be INCREDIBLE!! The sun's atmosphere is usually impossible to see because the normal sunlight is so bright. But, when the sun is blocked by the moon, you can look right at it and see the sun's atmosphere flying out at us! I'm soooo excited for this!!  However, this path of totality is a fairly narrow path through the United States. Most of the country will see a partial eclipse, and you should not look at the sun directly during a partial eclipse!

So...are lots of ways to safely view a partial eclipse. A pin-hole viewer or a box viewer will let you see what's going on, but I want to actually look at the sun while it happens! Plus, I have four kids who will really want to look right at the sun too! So, I ordered eclipse glasses for us!!!!  And I'm sooooo excited about it!!!! The eclipse glasses will block out thousands of times the amount of light that sunglasses will, so you can actually watch the sun get covered by the moon. (Then take them off for the 2 minutes or so that the sun is in totality.)

  Here's an Amazon affiliate link for you to check out some eclipse glasses too:

You will want to put them on about 30 minutes before the eclipse starts so that your eyes have time to adjust to the darkness...and then you can watch the eclipse happen!!

And if you're studying astronomy and space to get ready for it, here are a few fun activities:


Let me know if you're doing a space theme or astronomy unit...they're some of my favorite topics!!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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